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Entering Finals Week

It’s been a good week. Classes for the semester ended last Wednesday and we spent the time reviewing for final exams. I don’t know if there’s been a more stressful time thus far. When the grades come in and it comes down to the final wire, it all starts to feel real. Like the past four months are coming down to just a few moments which will determine the rest of forever.

While it may seem that way, it actually isn’t true. Of all the advice that professors have given this past week, I think the number one most repeated piece of advice has been to not place too much value on these exams. Do your best and study, but realize that in the big scheme of things, a grade on a final is not going to be much of a difference. The most important things that will make the largest differences in our lives are not going to be from a few classes or tests. All of my professors as their last final words of the semester have advised us to keep our focus on the larger, important goals and keep our focus their. There’s been a lot of great advice recently and I’m grateful that we have so many sources of help and support. My physics professor told us a 75% in the class would be a B and the final would be mostly multiple choice and curved. This was comforting to know too.

This past week, I’ve had a few people very interested in commissioning Nerf blasters from me and I’m glad to be able to get to building more. I’ll be able to try out some new, different designs as well. This coming up Saturday will be another large Nerf event – UNFF’s general Nerf war. There will likely be families there and I heard that attendance is really good at these events and I’m excited to play after finals as a good break.

Here is a blaster I threw together this weekend. Yes, it will be in the colors shown. Should cool.

A lot is changing because of the end of the semester with people moving, and coming, and graduating. It’s an interesting life as a college student with a lot to do and get involved with.

Translating at the MTC.

Have a great week!
Derrikk Sun

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A week of studying before finals….and Nerf!

This pat week marks the end of the last regular week of the semester. This week will be a short one in preparation for finals next week. It’s super stressful! With that said, we made great use of this last week and did some de-stressing. That means Nerfing. It was a super fun event and I actually got some decent footage and I compiled into a simple video.

This past week has been pretty full, as usual. There’ve been several things that I’ve forgotten to do, spaced out on, or have been too busy to get to. It’s been kind of hectic, but somehow we manage to survive through it all. I’m very grateful for all of the amazing resources we have that help us along the way. From good professors, willing counselors, and even just solid friends and family. I don’t think there has been a time in my life where I’ve been so tired, but yet so satisfied (except for a mission, of course).

Something that has really struck me this past week has been learning more about the desegregation and rights movements in the United States in my American Heritage class. We watched a moving film about it and I felt strongly for the cause that so many people have fought for before. That people would be forced to face such hardships and trials through no doing of their own, solely based on their race and circumstance is just so wrong. It made me desire to serve more and to somehow help those people.

Also, in my biology class, we don’t learn much biology. But we do learn much about life in general. My professor had a bit of a personal moment when a day in class he told us that that day, a few years ago, he had one of his best and most likely students commit suicide. She had graduated, grown up, got married, and had two kids at the time. He was very emotional about it and said at the end of it all, and the end of the semester, all of this, it really doesn’t matter. Finals, grades, and it all doesn’t mean very much. What’s important is that we figure out what matters most, and work on that. If in the end, what truly matters is not in a right state, than everything else doesn’t matter much. He gave some moving thoughts on life and what he’s experienced and I don’t think there’s been a day where I’ve paid more attention in my Biology 100 class.

There’s so much that happens every week, but I’m learning to make the most of each day as it comes and to trust in the Lord. Which ever path He lays for me and has in store for me, is the path that I seek the most and must strive to do the best. I don’t know yet what that path is or entails, but it starts with every step we make today.

I love you and hope you have a great week,
Derrikk Sun

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Be Not Afraid

Last week’s general conference was great. All the the great talks answered so many of my questions. This past week, I’ve reflected on them again and again. Revelation comes gradually, even from general conference talks.

The end of the semester is getting closer and it feels like it’ll end any day which is both exciting and a bit scary. We’ll have to make it through a few last exams and assignments, but if we can do that, that’d be a major milestone accomplished. I’ve finished registration for next semester, and things are drawing to a close. All that’s left is studying for finals. Cramming non-stop for the next week or so.

Free Rootbeer floats!

I’ve picked up a part time, small job as a campus custodian to help me over until I can figure out what I want to do. This coming Spring, when school is out, I’ll be able to pick up a full time job and maybe some others as well. Hopefully not a full 15 hours a day, 80 hours a week like before this semester, but enough to fill free time.

This past week has been pretty eventful as well. I’ve had two buyers commission the new clip-fed homemades I’ve made, there’s been a few meetings for the close of the semester, and not to mention weddings and engagements.

Congratulations to my cousin Azure for her wedding yesterday. It’s super exciting to see people making big steps in their lives! I also found out another cousin who was married while I was on my mission is pregnant too! So exciting!

When I think of change for myself or other big decisions, I get so apprehensive and nervous. There’s a lot to worry about and there’s always a natural fear that comes up. That’s one thing that I noticed repeated over and over again in conference. We don’t need to be afraid, or even worry, if we just try our best to follow the Savior and have faith. No matter what happens, we really can’t be lead astray. I’ve been pondering on this over the past week or so and take much courage in this fact. If we trust in the Lord and put our “all in”, we really can’t go wrong. I’m so thankful for all of the tools and resources He has given us. From the Spirit, to Patriarchal blessings, friends, family, and the Gospel, we have so much to help keep us on the right track, no matter which path we take to get there.

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Find Ourselves When We Lose Ourselves

So sometimes the internet at our apartment isn’t very reliable and cuts out right as I sit down to do homework or write my blog post. I’ll make up for last week this week too.

These past two weeks have been so full of amazing experiences. At least they were to me.

My religion 200 class has really made me see things in ways I’ve never thought of before. I’ve learned so many things. We’ve discussed the divine role of both men and women, dating, courtship, the sanctity of life, and all of the deeper meanings behind the doctrine of the family. We’ve even had to write a research paper on The Family Proclamation. I’ve gained some new perspectives that I’ve never had before.

This week was service week at BYU! It’s so fun to get involved and to serve! I volunteered with some of the booths and helped raise awareness by passing out fliers. It made me feel like a missionary again too!

Last week, I built a new style of homemade that uses Nerf clips. The prototype worked well and I had someone offer to buy it immediately after I posted a firing video on Facebook. It felt good to be able to get building again. It’s the first homemade I’ve made that utilizes Nerf clips which makes it pretty versatile. This coming up 29th will be another special Nerf event. After the regular war, they’re planning a ‘buy/sell’ get together. Hopefully I’ll be able to get rid of a bunch of blasters.

I loved General Conference this past week!!!! I felt like the recurring theme that stood out to me was of learning to recognize the Spirit and really getting to know the Godhead. I’ve been trying to seek answers to a few questions and there were so many awesome talks that addressed heeding the Spirit. I especially liked Elder Cook’s talk, Holland’s, Sabin’s, Ballard’s, Rasband’s was so good! I can’t wait to study these talks more! I learned that we really must be trying to recognize the Spirit and then take confidence and courage in following the Spirit. I think I need to work on both of those.

Our other roommate, Tyler, took us to the Sunday afternoon conference session and afterwards went to his house. We got to meet his family and celebrate his litter sister’s 11th birthday. It was awesome to get to know them. He also didn’t fail to mention his family friend who just got from her mission in Boston. Hehe.

Mom came down and dropped off the rest of my stuff from Boise. There’s a lot more than I had thought. It’ll take a while to sort through it and I’ll end up donated a lot to the DI and selling stuff. Our storage room is now very full of stuff, but I should have plenty to work with to build new Nerf blasters. We went out to lunch with my sister, her roommates, and their mothers.

I’ve interviewed for being an interpreter at the MTC and have done some 3D printing at BYU. The underwater robotics competition went well, I’m told, and things have been pretty busy this week. People keep getting engaged and we’re continuing to meet new people. I’m told a lot changes from semester to semester, so we’ll have to see how the next one is.

Coming up is a bunch of tests and final exams. I’m doing okay, but there are some classes I’m less enthusiastic about see as less important to my major and have studied less in those classes, but it would probably be good to try to do well in those as well. Oops. I guess I’ll work a little harder to study those subjects.

Also, they new Easter video is out from the church. It’s called the Prince of Peace. I first say it a few weeks ago at a stake conference. The visiting general authority showed it to us and it brought the Spirit so strongly. I’m super excited to share the video. Here it is below.

We also had a centuries dance last week. We had people come dressed up as if they were in their favorite century. It was a pretty fun dance. We made flyers and handed them out to people. I learned quite a bit about dancing, too. Maybe I’ll actually remember and be able to apply it one day. Haha.

Throughout this past week or so, I’ve also had the opportunity to be kind of a source of advice for others. I frequently get people (mostly from my mission) who message or call with things on their minds. Some have problems with relationships, or callings in the church, or just feel downtrodden by life in general. I find it a great blessing to be able to keep connected with some of these people and try to support them. Some are also my recent converts who face trials. I’m blessed with a knowledge and testimony that I’m able to share with them. Many times the solutions that we end up with are based on an understanding of our Heavenly Father and Christ, like which was talked about in conference. One particular friend sometimes comes in a pouting, fussy way. They ended up being enlisted as a soldier, but didn’t want to be. They wanted to get out and date instead. They came and mostly wanted to just vent their problems. In my Eternal Families class, we learned that just being there to listen is important so I did. In the end, they felt much better and all I did was listen and say that God has a plan for them.

Service doesn’t always have to be something large or thought well out in advance. Often times it’s just being in the right time at the right place and involves following the Spirit. I recall many a story where a student felt a prompting to say something, a compliment, or help someone else in a small way. It ends up making a large impact on the other person. The person that vented to me ended up sending a powerful thank you that I didn’t expect and it honestly made my day to hear it too. you never know what influence you have.

That’s about the past two weeks summed up. I hope you guys have a great week!